Gardening; Container Style
Best Vegetables To Grow in Containers
Tomatoes are my favorite to grow in containers. There are two types of tomatoes, determinate and indeterminate. The determinate type grow to a certain height, then stop and bush out. The determinate type doesn't take up a lot of space. The indeterminate type can keep growing to any height and does require staking or stringing for support and to keep the vine off the ground.
Another plant that grows well in pots is bell peppers. Choose a container eight to ten inches deep. They will need something to help support the weight as the fruit grows larger.
Banana peppers, jalapenos and most other hot peppers grow well in containers. They can also add eye appealing splashes of bold color for beauty and added appeal.
Lettuce grows very well in containers. It requires a lot of watering and thrives in cooler weather but will die off in a freeze. Lettuce is excellent to grow in fall or late Spring. Some good choices are Romaine, Butter head, Chinese and Arugula.
Cucumbers are easily grown in containers. Depending on the variety, you may need to stake or pot trellis for vining out and support. A twelve inch pot should work just fine. If you eat a lot of cucumbers, try growing several pots at a time.
Squash is another favorite. Choose pots or containers at least twelve inches in width and only one plant per pot. Two plants should produce as much squash as a family of four will need.
Brussels sprouts are another favorite. They work out best when grown in a pot at least twelve inches deep. They are self supporting and pretty much trouble free.
Strawberries are extremely easy to grow in containers. You can use just about any container you want as they have shallow roots. I love growing them in hanging baskets. They spread over the edge of the baskets, growing stems and runners that are loaded with scrumptious sweet strawberries. What could be more beautiful and rewarding.
Spinach, carrots, potatoes and green onions are also good choices. You can grow almost any vegetable in containers, just pay attention to the types and varieties and choose those that are best suited for growing in containers.
Growing Herbs in Containers
Herbs are perfect candidates to grow in containers.
Rosemary - Rosemary is a perennial. It's a hardy plant but does not tolerate cold weather at all. It doesn't like too much water and tolerates drier conditions. They grow excellent in containers at least twelve inches deep and wide.
Mint - Give the mint its own pot; it is an aggressive spreader. It also likes more water than some of the other herbs, so keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. Mint should be grown in a pot at least 12" or larger. Watch out for runners that may reach and invade your other near by containers.
Dill - Dill is an annual, but because it seeds itself , you will soon learn that if left alone, it comes back each Spring. It is best grown in a container, placed on the floor or ground. It can grow up to three feet or more and is too tall to for hanging baskets. You might want to combine it with basil. The dill will die back and go to seed, while the basil will still be producing and will thrive for the rest of the season. Standard basil can grow to be quite large on its own, so keep this in mind when choosing a container.
thyme- Thyme is a perennial.You will need a container at least ten inches in diameter to have a successful thyme plant. They do well in a loose potting soil mix and prefer drier soil, so let the soil dry completely in between watering, Thyme is usually a very low growing herb. It will grow to drape over the container. This is why I like to grow thyme in hanging basket containers.
Cilantro-Coriander- is an annual-You will want to grow cilantro in containers at least fourteen inches deep. Place a one inch layer of rock or small pebbles in the bottom of the container before adding the soil. Water the plant regularly.
Sage- Sage is a Perennial. It can be grown in containers at least eight inches deep and the same in width. Harvest often to keep the plant small. Grow only one plant per container.
Oregano is a perennial. It needs a container at least twelve inches deep to do well. Keep in mind, that depending on the variety, it can grow to a height of twenty-four inches. Allow the plant to dry in between watering. Feed two times during the growing season.
Some other good herb choices for growing in containers are parsley, basil, marjoram and tarragon.
Note: Oregano and Marigolds naturally repel most insect pest, so you may want to place containers of these around your growing area.
Backyard Container Garden
Good choices for Container Flowers
Your hanging baskets and containers of flowers can last for a long time as long as you give them a little care and attention.
It is best not use any hanging baskets smaller than 10 inches or container smaller than 12 inches as these do not have enough water holding capability and will require watering a lot more often.
Make sure your hanging baskets and containers have good drainage holes and if possible a drip tray, so they can have water as needed. When the drip tray is dry, it is time to water again. if you can, try ro purchase the type that has a detachable drip tray. These are easier to keep clean of leaves and other debris.
If the plant leaves start turning yellow and flower and are slow to flower, you might need to fertilize. Don't over do it, more is not better. A little can do wonders but too much can burn the roots and kill the plant. Follow package instructions carefully.
Some good choices for growing flowers in containers are;
Angel's Trumpet, Canterbury Bells-, Lobelia, Candituft, Celosia, Geraniums, Marigold, Nasturtium Phlox, Salvia, Snapdragon, Sweet Alyssum, Petunia, Balloon flower, Blanket Flowers, ornamental peppers, African Daisy, Sweetpea, Verbena, Vinca and Zinnia.
How To Grow Potatoes in Bags
I found this short video that explains step by step how to easily grow potatoes in containers and bags. I'm impressed and plan to try this method soon. I will add an update as my experiment progresses. In the meantime, see for yourself how simple it is to grow potatoes in bags following these few simple steps. http://video.about.com/containergardening/Grow-Potatoes-in-Containers.htm
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